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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Attention all Cyber Monday Shoppers!

If you’re looking to get your Holiday shopping done early, then today is your lucky day. Check out some of the great deals we’re offering below, and give the gift that gets people talking!

Dragon Home Holiday Bundle

It’s all about friends and family with our exclusive Dragon Home Holiday Bundle. This package features Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Home, the fast, fun and convenient way to interact with your PC using your voice. Dictate documents, send email, search the Web, and more – with simple voice commands. There’s no easier or more enjoyable way to capture creativity and get more done on your PC.

Here’s what you get:

  • Package includes Dragon Home Edition speech recognition software
  • Family Tree Maker genealogy software
  • USB headset

Price: $74.99, a $155 retail value!

Dragon Premium Holiday Bundle

This holiday, we’re making it all about friends and family with our exclusive Dragon Premium Holiday Bundle. This package features Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium edition to let you get through your “to–do” list faster than ever before – by talking! Dictate or modify documents, spreadsheets and presentations, send email, search the Web, and more. Even capture notes on the go using a digital recorder and Dragon will transcribe the audio files back at your PC.

We’ve combined our best-selling speech recognition with Family Tree Maker® Workshop 2, genealogy software that will bring your family history to life with photos, historical records and interactive maps. We finish this package off with our USB headset.

Dragon speech recognition makes a great gift, so ignite new possibilities for your friends and family this holiday season.

Here’s what you get:

  • Package includes Dragon Premium Edition speech recognition software
  • Family Tree Maker genealogy software
  • USB headset

Price: $149.99 a $255 retail value!

Dragon Dictate Holiday Bundle

This holiday, we’re making it all about friends and family with our exclusive Dragon Dictate for Mac Holiday Bundle. Our holiday package features Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 speech recognition software, which lets you use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. You can even use a digital voice recorder and Dragon will transcribe your dictation when you are back at your Mac.

We’ve combined our best-selling speech recognition with Family Tree Maker® Workshop 2, genealogy software that will bring your family history to life with photos, historical records and interactive maps and more. We finish this package off with our USB headset.

Dragon speech recognition makes a great gift, so ignite new possibilities for your friends and family this holiday season.

Here’s what you get:

  • Package includes Dragon Dictate for Mac speech recognition software
  • Family Tree Maker genealogy software
  • USB headset.

Price: $149.99…a$255 retail value

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This week we shine the spotlight on the Delaware Division of Family Services (DFS) – our customer of the week! Delaware DFS needed a way to help caseworkers speed documentation turnaround so they could spend more time in the field helping children and families and less time at their desktops — without putting the agency at risk of non-compliance. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional was the solution.

The Division of Family Services (DFS), part of Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families (DSCYF), is dedicated to promoting the protection, safety, and permanency of the state’s youth. With limited resources and mountains of paperwork, the Delaware DFS knew they needed a more efficient way of fulfilling their mission. After instituting a pilot program where a select number of DFS employees tested using Dragon NaturallySpeaking in the filed, the decision was easy to roll out the software to their broader employee base. By using digital voice recorders in the field – along with Dragon’s transcription capability –  and mastering several voice command shortcuts, Dragon has helped to cut the time it takes caseworkers to input notes by up to 75 percent and to increase the quality of their work. One employee explains, “If anything, my notes are longer and more detailed since I’ve been using Dragon. As I’m talking, I add more detail than I would if I were just typing. Other caseworkers have noticed the same thing.” One thing is for sure – Dragon is here to stay for the Delaware Division of Family Services.

Read the entire case study here. (*note: defaults to open .pdf)

 

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If you did, no need to worry! You can view the entire chat here to see Dr. Schultz’s discussion about education and children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other learning challenges.

 

 

 

 

And if you’re having trouble viewing the chat here, you can always find it on Facebook!

Do you have a question for Dr. Schultz? Follow him on Twitter!

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The votes are in, and we’re very excited to announce that we have chosen this year’s winners of the I Speak Dragon! story contest! We received hundreds of inspirational stories from across the country – coming from students, parents, teachers, business professionals, grandparents, and just about everyone in between – describing how using Dragon has helped to transform their lives. Now without further ado, here are this year’s winners:

Most Productive

“At Work or Play, Dragon’s My Way”

Jan Moore graduated college with a Political Science degree, was admitted to five law schools, and was looking forward to getting her first full-time job after graduation. Jan was determined, but fighting what seemed to be an uphill battle; she had cerebral palsy, was in a wheelchair, and was turned away from every position she applied for, after prospective employers concluded she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the typing requirements.

For thirty years she was faced with rejection and, understandably, her self-esteem took a beating. Eventually, Jan settled into a job as an independent sales representative, working to distribute products for a cosmetics company by doing invoices by hand – a very time-consuming process.

It wasn’t until after Jan discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking that she noticed a life-changing outcome. She says, “Now, I actually had time to enjoy what I was doing, taking care of my young family and growing my business. Dragon NaturallySpeaking…allows me to ‘speak the changes’ and get the job done in a fraction of the time!”

Today, Jan has achieved more than she ever thought possible; volunteering for her city’s Human Relations Commission, helping her sister with her business, and finally landing her dream job at a university: “…none of it would have been possible without Dragon NaturallySpeaking!”

Read Jan’s full story here.

Most Life-Changing

“How Dragon Speak Helped my Son”

As a person with Autism, Rhys Owen Wynne has certain visual impairments that can make reading and writing quite the ordeal. As a result of his difficulties, Rhys was often teased at school, which had a hand in him eventually developing behavioral issues.

Rhys’ Dad wanted to find a way for his son to be able to write the stories which he enjoyed so much with confidence, so he purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Because he was bilingual and spoke Thai as a first language, which is based primarily on tones, he had a hard time with the software at the beginning. However, listening to what he had dictated using Dragon’s playback feature, Rhys was able to identify what needed to be corrected and even start proofreading his work.

If you saw Rhys today, you wouldn’t even recognize him. “Rhys puts on his headset, becoming a new person,” says his father. He’s written books, poems, and songs using Dragon and has even seen two of his books published and receive awards. Rhys now works part-time at a Public Library, feeling accepted by the community and interacting with others with a newfound confidence. His father best describes the transformation by saying, “This program has opened a brand new world for him.”

Read Rhys’ full story here.

Most Creative

“Love Letters from Time”

With her uncle’s passing and her aunt growing older, Lorraine Pretty wanted to capture and preserve an important piece of her family’s history before time slipped away from her. In her Aunt Helen’s hope chest laid a collection of love letters, written by her late husband Joe as he served in World War II.

Lorraine worried that the task would take her years, but then she remembered a program she had seen advertised – Dragon NaturallySpeaking – which she could use to quickly transcribe the letters:

January 21st, 1944

Dearest Helen,

The army just pulled the seat out from all of my dreams. I’m not getting that fifteen day furlough, only a four day. So if you could make plans to be married on the 8th that would be swell.

December 2nd, 1944

Dearest Wife,

As I sit and write this in a house, it reminds me of the country, because the light comes from a lamp. It’s peaceful here, and for a while I forgot there was a war on.

Today, Lorraine is working to finish the memoir of her Aunt Helen and Uncle Joe, hoping to turn the love story into a book.

Hear and see Lorraine’s full story here.

Facebook Fan Favorite

“Independence – Thanks to Dragon!!!”

Born prematurely at only twenty-six weeks, Michael Campisi was left with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, causing severely delayed motor skills and other obstacles. “It was always an exhausting battle trying to reach the normal milestones of childhood,” Michael explains. Particularly, he faced challenges at school where he was unable to keep up with other students in classes that required extensive writing. It wasn’t the thought or effort that went into his assignments, but the writing process itself.

By third grade, Michael’s mother noticed his slipping grades and requested an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting. As a result, Michael was assigned an aid named Betty who helped him for years and with whom he developed a strong relationship. When it was time to enter high school, though, he came to a cross roads – how could he maintain his grades while gaining an increased sense of independence?

After some investigation, Michael discovered Dragon NaturallySpeaking and, with coordination from his school, he was given the opportunity to use the speech recognition software at home and in school. Now, at the age of nineteen and after using Dragon for three years, he looks back on his experience, calling Dragon “…the answer to [his] prayers.” Michael still keeps in touch with his old friend Betty, but now he has a new friend – Dragon – who he plans to take with him on his journey to college.

Read Michael’s full story here.

Besides basking in the glory of being one of our honorary Dragon fans, each winner will receive a third generation Apple iPad, a copy of either Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Dragon Dictate, and free product upgrades for three years. Talk about some great prizes!! But remember, if you entered our contest and your story wasn’t chosen, there’s always next year! We’d like to thank ALL of our great fans for sharing their stories with us, and for showing us just how much Dragon can make a difference.

Prepare to laugh, cry, and be inspired… check out more of this year’s I Speak Dragon! stories here.

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We’re excited to announce that Dr. Jerome Schultz, a specialist in the study of children and adolescents with learning disabilities,  will be joining us to host a live Facebook chat on July 11th from 10 to 11 am EST. Read below to learn more about Jerry, the chat, and how to join us!

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background. I started out my professional career as a special education teacher, and by virtue of some wonderful opportunities, mentors and training programs, I evolved into what I am today, a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I consult to schools and parents of children and adolescents who have learning disabilities; ADHD, Asperger syndrome and other conditions that impact learning and behavior. I also work with kids who are gifted and talented, but who also struggle with learning disabilities.  Over the years, I’ve become convinced that the greatest impediment for kids is not that they have these neurologically-based conditions, but rather the way they see themselves as learners. I’m particularly interested in the negative impact of stress on brain function and learning, and why these kids are so susceptible to stress. My book “Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It” (Jossey-Bass) is all about this phenomenon.
  2. What makes you so passionate about the field of Education? As a teacher, a teacher-educator, and consultant, I have had the wonderful opportunity to observe and learn from some exquisitely talented teachers, and it’s miraculous what can happen when teachers “get” kids, and break down the cognitive and emotional barriers to learning that lets students experience the joy of success. Seeing this happen over and over again confirms my beliefs about the power of the human interaction in the classroom. I know that when kids have a better understanding of their own learning vulnerabilities and how to use their strengths to overcome or work around them, they enjoy school, they come to love learning, and they feel competent and confident. I believe that when teachers, parents and kids can be helped to reach this state of mind, all doors open for them. That’s what fuels my passion. When I can help teachers, administrators and parents understanding all this, I feel like Johnny Appleseed, knowing that the seeds I drop along the way will become orchards of learning.
  3. What would you say are some of the hot topics right now with regard to learning disabilities and education? Several issues are reaching the tipping point as we speak. Proposed changes in the DSM-V, the psychiatric manual that provides guidelines for the diagnosis of a variety of conditions, may set back the field of learning disabilities – specifically the understanding of dyslexia – by decades. The debates are raging about that. The big “elephant in the room” for LD is whether or not these kids are getting the specialized and intensive instruction they require (and which scientific studies prove to be effective) in so-called “inclusion programs.”  Another huge concern is how kids with fragile emotions (stress, anxiety, depression) or difficult behaviors (oppositional, defiant, resistant, aggressive) challenge even the most talented teachers.
  4. What kinds of topics can folks expect to be discussed during the live chat? I’ll certainly be talking about some of the brain science that helps us understand the stress response, and I’ll be offering specific suggestions and strategies that will help parents, teachers and kids get out from under the spell of stress and find success. If someone gets me started on the topic of responsible inclusion for kids with LD and ADHD, we’ll have to extend the chat! We’ll have a chance to discuss my DE-STRESS model of intervention, and talk about why kids with poorly understood LD or ADHD have to “Save FASE” (I didn’t misspell that–I’ll explain it during the chat!) I’ll also be interested in hearing from chat participants about how they’ve used technology to give kids with learning challenges the chance to be more in control of their own learning. I’ll talk about my experiences as a writer using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and how I’ve seen this and other creative programs unlock the doors for learning for so many kids.
  5. Who should attend this event? How and when can they tune-in? I hope that general as well as special education teachers will be able to join us, as well as administrators and specialists like occupational and speech therapists. It would be great if schools use this chat as an opportunity for professional development. Teaching assistants will also find the session informative. Of course, parents and others who care about kids will be very interested in this dialogue, and their comments will add an important perspective to the discussion. The chat will be relevant to mental health workers as well, because we’ll be discussing kids’ emotional reactions to learning difficulties.

Joining the chat is easy – Just follow the link below and click “yes” to signify that you will be attending. Then tune-in on Wednesday, July 11th from 10 to 11 am EST. More info can also be found on Dragon’s Facebook page. I look forward to meeting all of you!

RSVP to the event here!

Follow Jerry on Twitter:

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Welcome to part two of our social media blog series in celebration of Mashable’s Social Media Day which is only a few short days away – June 30th!

For today’s post we’re focusing on an audience that you may not associate with Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and that is the 55 and over age group. Recently, we’ve noticed a lot of activity and engagement on our social channels from this age group and, naturally, we did some digging to learn more about the adoption rate of social networks with this generation.

Well, according to research, the population over age 55 is the fastest growing segment using social media In fact, it’s estimated that 65% of the population over 50 in the US is already using social media regularly – that’s over 27 million people!

So what’s the big to-do? It turns out, with the aging population flocking to the digital world, talk about how social media just might offer some pretty great – and unexpected – health benefits. You’ve probably heard the decades old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what about, “One Facebook post a day keeps the doctor away”? We did a little exploring and found a great post on Senior Care Corner that highlights the top health benefits of social media for this age group. Here are a few we found particularly interesting:

1.      Social media can keep families close.

It’s nice when your relatives live just down the street from you, but in today’s world that usually isn’t the case. Social media has become a popular outlet for the elderly to keep in touch with their family, giving them increased feelings of inclusion and connectedness. 64% of all people using social media name staying in touch with family as the reason they flock to the Web.

Think about the last time your dog did something funny, or when your toddler made a funny face while trying broccoli for the first time…where would you be most likely to share the pictures? More times than not, the answer is  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or YouTube. Grandparents love being able to join in and have those memories captured and readily available to them at any time. After all, Grandma would be pretty upset if she missed out on this adorable giggle-monster’s reaction to mommy blowing her nose:

 2.      Social media opens a window of opportunity for exploring new hobbies.

This is one of the more unexpected health benefits of social media, but it has a place all its own. If you didn’t expect Grandpa to be up ‘til the wee hours of the morning playing Farmville, you might want to reconsider! Discovering new interests and hobbies online can be the perfect answer to all of that extra free time the elderly population often finds themselves with. Besides stumbling upon (ignore the pun!) an amazing cooking blog, many have taken hold of the coupon craze sweeping the nation and have become fully immersed. Come on, who doesn’t love a good discount, or get a thrill when they find something for half-off? Case in point: TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Now, we’re not suggesting that couponing is a match for everyone (especially to this degree), but as we all know, being actively involved in a hobby can make us happier and leaves us something to look forward to – an important ingredient to an enriched life.

 3.      Social media decreases feelings of loneliness and instills a sense of community belonging.

When you get older, especially if you become immobile over time, you may start to feel disconnected and, at times, very alone. Perhaps one of the most significant health benefits that accompanies social media use is the feeling of increased belonging in one’s community. As Dragon allows those facing accessibility challenges to communicate in ways they may not have been able to in the past, social media can connect the elderly to friends and family when distance is a factor. Skype, a popular video-chat interface, can be a great option for when Mom and Dad find themselves an ocean-away from their son or daughter during college study abroad, or when you want to invite Grandma and Grandpa to join in on family birthday celebrations.

Now that we know more about this trend, we better go brush up on our Words with Friends skills on Facebook, because it looks like we’ll have some new rivals  hot on our heels in no time!

What do you think about social media offering health benefits? Have you seen these benefits in-action?

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Here’s a quick Thursday tip for folks using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the PC and Dragon Dictate for Mac:

Now that you’ve written Mom a letter for Mother’s Day, you can’t forget Dad! Use Dragon to write your Dad or the father figure in your life a special Happy Father’s Day note and let him know how much he means to you.

Let us know if you have any suggestions for Dragon tips or questions that you’d like us to address here in the comments. We’ll do our best to feature as many as we can here each week!

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